The International Wrongdoer Court’s prosecutor stated Friday she had sufficient evidence to open a complete probe into continuous violence in Nigeria by both Islamist insurgents and security forces.
Fatou Bensouda’s statement comes as violence continues to wreak havoc in the West African nation’s northeast, where a minimum of 76 individuals were slaughtered by Boko Haram jihadists two weeks ago.
” Following a comprehensive process, I can announce today that the statutory requirements for opening an examination into the scenario in Nigeria have actually been fulfilled,” Bensouda said in a declaration, released at the ICC’s head office in The Hague.
ICC district attorneys opened an initial investigation into the circumstance in Nigeria in 2010 but Bensouda now wants consent from judges to continue to a full-blown official probe.
Gambian-born Bensouda particularly referred to acts committed by Boko Haram, whose 11-year insurgency in the nation have claimed the lives of a minimum of 36,000 people.
Around 2 million others have actually been displaced, according to UN figures.
Boko Haram and its dissenting group have dedicated “acts that make up criminal activities versus humankind and war criminal offenses” consisting of murder, rape, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and cruel treatment, Bensouda stated.
But while the “large bulk” of criminal activities were devoted by non-state perpetrators “we also found a reasonable basis to believe that members of the Nigerian Security Forces committed acts constituting crimes against mankind and war crimes”, Bensouda stated.
This included murder, rape, torture, and vicious treatment in addition to enforced disappearance and forcible transfer of the population and attacks directed at civilians.
A complete investigation by the ICC, set up in 2002 to try the world’s worst crimes, might eventually cause charges over the violence in the oil-rich African nation, which has been fuelled by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Bensouda said Nigeria has made some effort to prosecute “generally low-level recorded” Boko Haram fighters, while military authorities told her they have “taken a look at, and dismissed, allegations against their own troops”.
” I have actually offered adequate time for these procedures to advance,” bearing in mind the ICC’s complementarity concept, which implies it would only get involved in examinations and prosecutions if a member state was unable or reluctant to do so, she added.
” Our assessment is that none of these proceedings relate, even indirectly, to the forms of conduct or categories of individuals that would likely form the focus of my examinations,” Bensouda stated.
A minimum of 76 individuals were slaughtered by Boko Haram jihadists 2 weeks earlier in Nigeria AFP/ Audu Marte
Boko Haram’s main group claimed responsibility earlier this month for the massacre of some 76 farm employees in an area outside Borno state’s capital Maiduguri, in which lots of labourers were slaughtered by shooters on motorbikes.
Farm employees were also tied up and had their throats slit in the attack thought to be looking for vengeance on villagers for seizing the group’s fighters and handing them over to the authorities.
The massacre provoked prevalent international condemnation consisting of by the head of the Catholic Church.
” I wish to assure my prayers for Nigeria, where blood has sadly been spilled once again in a terrorist attack,” Pope Francis stated at the Vatican throughout a weekly basic audience previously this month.
Meanwhile, state security sources said 10 Nigerian troops were eliminated on Monday in clashes with IS-linked jihadists in Borno state.
Battling emerged when a group of soldiers stormed a camp of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Alagarno town in Damboa district.
Alagarno, which lies 150 kilometres (90 miles) from local capital Maiduguri, is a fortress of ISWAP, which split from the Boko Haram jihadist group in 2016 and increased to become a dominant force.
ISWAP has significantly been assaulting civilians, killing and snatching people on highways along with raiding villages for food supplies.
Violence in Nigeria has actually spread to neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to eliminate the militant groups.